Music Monday: “Mary” by Kings of Leon
I think our Southern rockers have finally found the sweet spot. On this fourth track of their latest album, Come Around Sundown, they jolt you awake with a head bobbing lip curler.
It opens like a floodgate with a bassy four-note slide, raw strumming, slow-pound drums and falsetto backings, joined a few seconds later by pleading, wailing vocals. For the chorus, the riffing goes staccato, another guitar bounces from downbeat to downbeat, the sticks beat the rhythm to a pulp and the singing croons with every last note — until every sound drops away except the breathy, monosyllabic breaks of “ie-ie-ieuh-ieie…”
This cycle repeats itself before you even know it, until a blazing electric breaks out from the rest on what couldn’t be a more fitting direction for the jam: a good ole fashioned, straining, waining guitar solo! Thank you, kindly.
The cacophony of caged-up release builds with the last chorus to an heightened state of frenzy before it all falls away again, leaving the last breath hanging in the ether.
Yes, kids this song is the perfect blend of the Kings early dirty South punk sound and their more recent polished, slick, stadium anthems. I know, it’s only rock’n’roll, but I like it.